Minutes of Parish Council Meeting, 8th September 2022, 7:30pm

Parish Council Clerk: Philip Edwards | Tel: 07988 471568 | clerk@hintonblewettpc.co.uk


Present: T Bowler, D Duckett (Chairman), C Elliott, D Huffadine (Vice Chairman) and A Mills
Also Present: Philip Edwards(Clerk) and one member of the public

In Memoriam, Queen Elizabeth II, 1926 – 2022

Hinton Blewett Parish Council took time to reflect on the very sad news of the death of Queen Elizabeth II. The Parish Council reflected on the service of the Queen to so many and joined the nation in mourning the death of Queen Elizabeth II


[Cllr C Elliot joined the meeting 7:32pm]

A presentation was received from the local West of England Rural Network village agent, Alyson Akroyd regarding support provided by WERN for vulnerable residents. Some of the services provided by WERN include checking that residents are receiving all the benefits they are entitled to and signposting residents to other suitable services such as finding care, volunteers services, transport, befriending and legal advice. Referrals may be made to WERN from any resident or anyone who has first checked with a resident that they are willing to be referred. WERN contact details: 01275 333700, https://www.wern.org.uk/banes-village-agents.


Apologies for absence were received from Cllrs J O’Nians and D Elliott


There were no declarations of disclosable pecuniary or personal interests and consider any dispensation requests in accordance with the PC Code of Conduct.


RESOLVED: The Parish Council meeting minutes of Thursday 14th July 2022 were confirmed as an accurate record and signed by Chairman.

2209_[5] REPORTS

(a) Chairman’s Report

  • Cllr Duckett reported he had experienced a loss of phone service for 24 hours. He highlighted the wider implications for incoming callers not knowing of a service fault. Cllr Ducket suggested to the phone provider that if services were down, they should play a message to incoming calls to highlight a technical fault rather than leaving callers concerned about no response. This would be important for callers to vulnerable rural residents with no alternative means of communication.
  • Cllr Duckett attended the bus consultation event in Bishop Sutton with Dan Norris, WECA mayor. It was noted that there seems to be no way for local residents to get to the RUH or RVI hospitals by using bus services advertised on the online timetables. It was reported that £600 million bus improvement grant was not allowed to be spent on rural services. Bus use was reported at 75% pre pandemic levels. It was reported there are 100 vacancies for bus drivers that are not being filled. The parish council agreed they would contribute to the cost of hiring the hall for this event, expected to be under £15.
  • It was agreed that Cllr Ducket would offer to represent the council at the police advisory group. Issues of rural crime and agriculture were raised by Cllr C Elliot.

(b) Clerk’s Report

  • The Clerk reported he had written to B&NES and WECA on behalf of the Parish Council and local community to lobby for bus services in the village and to raise concerns of families over safe transport to school. See: https://hintonblewettpc.co.uk/bus-services-in-hinton-blewett-have-your-say/. Local residents had been encouraged by email and facebook to attend the bus consultation events.

(c) Members Reports

(d) Ward Councillor’s Report

  • Cllr Wood reported on the following items, this report preceeded the Clerk’s and members reports:
    • Coley Hill had been closed for investigations with CCTV. Drains were cleaned, but debris could not be flushed out due to poor pipework. Maintenance included surface patching and marker posts. The pipes all need to be replaced. B&NES is investigating the costing for consideration for a capital bid in the next budget or to be put on the list for future capital work. Capital work is prioritised on technical criteria and may not be included in the next budget. Cllr Wood will continue to flag this issue and try to prioritise with B&NES.
    • The commercial bus service in Hinton Blewett had been withdrawn. B&NES has replaced this with a school service for children entitled to transport up to age of 16, but the law prevents the council providing a commercial service open to other residents. Cllr Wood has written to the local MP, Jacob Rees Mogg to revisit this law. This law was not amended when a change in the law required most children up to the age of 18 to be in full time education. This obliges children between the age of 16 and 18 to go to school but does not provide the necessary transport. This law also prevents other residents using potentially empty spaces on school transport.
  • In view of Cllr Wood’s report on the bus service, the Parish Council requested the Clerk to write to Jacob Rees Mogg regarding a change in the law.

2209_[6] FINANCE

(a) Payments and income – see appendix 2022-09 Finance Reports

  1. RESOLVED: payments to approve as listed in the finance report
  2. Noted: payments and Income
  3. Noted: bank reconciliation statement
  4. Noted: Spend against budget and earmarked reserves

(b) External Audit arrangements

The council has been advised of its option to opt out of the SAAA central external auditor appointment arrangements. By remaining with central arrangements, the council may benefit from group arrangements and minimise costs for district council.
RESOLVED: To remain with the SAAA central external auditor appointment and to NOT opt out.


Noted: updates from previous planning applications: https://hintonblewettpc.co.uk/documents/planning-applications/


The Jubilee Bench has been ordered and delivered. Cllr C Elliot will investigate suitable foundations for the bench, which has 24 legs. Cllr Mills offered to meet any contractor on location to look at options. Cllr Bowler offered to liaise regarding treating the bench.


The Clerk has obtained notice board quotations for review by the council. The council expressed a preference for a wooden notice board but noted the additional cost versus an aluminium notice board. It was decided to keep the current board operational with basic remedial work until funds could be raised for a replacement board.


RESOLVED : Date of next meeting: Thursday 10th November 2022, 7.30pm at Hinton Blewett village hall.
Schedule of council meetings: https://hintonblewettpc.co.uk/diary-of-parish-council-meetings/

There being no further business, the Chairman closed the meeting at 20:50

Agreed as a correct record,
signed by the Chairman of the meeting: _______________________ on:_______________
(Chairman initial all other pages)